Validation of Photo-comet Assay as a Model for the Prediction of Photocarcinogenicity

  • Kim, Ji-Young (Laboratory of Genetic Toxicology, Korea Institute of Toxicology, KRICT) ;
  • Koh, Woo-Suk (Laboratory of Genetic Toxicology, Korea Institute of Toxicology, KRICT) ;
  • Lee, Mi-Chael (Department of Biology, College of Natural Sciences, University of Incheon)
  • Published : 2006.12.30


Recent reports on the photocarcinogenicity and photogerotoxicity of many compounds led to an increasing awareness for the need of a standard approach to test for photogenotoxicity. The comet assay has been recently validated as a sensitive and specific test system for the quantification of DNA damage. Thus, the objectives of this study are to investigate the utility of photo-comet assay for detecting photo-mutagens, and to evaluate its ability to predict rodent photo-carcinogenicity. Photo-comet assays were performed using L5178Y $Tk^{+/-}$ mouse lymphoma cells on five test substances (8-methoxypsoralen, chlorpromazine, lomefloxacin, anthracene and retinoic acid) that demonstrated positive results in photocarcinogenicity tests. For the best discrimination between the test substance-mediated DNA damage and the undesirable DNA damage caused by direct UV absorption, a UV dose-response of the cells in the absence of the test substances was firstly fnalized. Out of 5 test substances, positive comet results were obtained for chlorpromazine, lomefloxacin, anthracene and retinoic acid while 8-methoxypsoralen found negative. An investigation into the predictive value of this photo-comet assay for determining the photocarcinogenicity showed that photo-comet assay has relatively high sensitivity. Therefore, the photo-comet assay with mammalian cells seems to be a good and sensitive predictor of the photocarcinogenic potential of new substances.


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